The top 5 benefits of implementing sustainable venturing challenges

Educators at higher education institutions play a pivotal role in enabling our students to develop the knowledge and skills required to create sustainable change. While teaching the concept, theories and approaches of sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation is integral to equipping our students with knowledge – this isn’t quite enough. Strengthening our students’ impact-entrepreneurial skills by working with companies to tackle their real-world sustainability challenges is the aim of challenge-based learning for sustainable venturing. Incorporating sustainable venturing challenges into your curricula can bring many benefits:

01 Enable your students to move from sustainable entrepreneurship theory to practice

By integrating sustainable venturing challenges into your curriculum, you help your students to complement theoretical learning with practice. Working on relevant, real-world sustainability problems in close collaboration with business partners will allow them to accelerate as well as deepen their learning. It can also significantly boost student motivation and commitment, because students get to apply their knowledge in real situations and through learning in relationships with both other students and business leaders.

02 Facilitate your students’ development of 21st century skills

By providing your students the opportunity to co-develop solutions to real-world problems faced by established companies or start-ups, you facilitate their development of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, communication and collaboration. They will also be required to operate outside of their comfort zone which can spur individual growth, for instance in terms of building and developing confidence. Given the student-centred nature of challenge-based learning, your students will learn to take on lots of own responsibility. In this way, you help them better prepare for the complexity of the real world and to acquire the fundamental skills needed for succeeding in today’s workplace. In essence, you contribute to increasing your students’ professional development and employability.

03 Develop your competencies as academic staff and fuel your professional development

Establishing new teaching and learning formats, in which practice and theory feed each other and which are aligned with the real world, can challenge you in your development as academic leader. This is because in comparison to more traditional teaching approaches, challenge-based teaching requires you to take on further functions and tasks. For instance, it includes collaboration with external corporate partners as well as academic staff from other departments and universities. It also comprises moving from a mere teacher role to that of co-developer, organiser and facilitator, to name a few. This presents an exciting opportunity for professional growth and development as you advance the educational quality and variety of your courses.

04 Build professional relationships and grow your network

Supporting your students in cultivating impact entrepreneurial thinking and action through challenge-based learning will inevitably help you maintain, grow and leverage your professional network. It will allow you to discover and connect to other committed academic staff who are interested in jointly shaping a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem through fostering university-business collaboration. You will also be able to form strategic business partnerships and build a network of business partners with whom you can mobilise sustainable innovation through co-creation of knowledge and sharing of resources.

05 Support innovation in teaching practices at your university

Be at the forefront of promoting pedagogical innovation at your university department. Inspire your colleagues to take up challenge-based learning approaches to complement more traditional teaching and learning models. This will also provide you with a unique teaching profile that sets you apart and increases your attractiveness for prospective students and corporate partners alike.

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Learn how to implement sustainable venturing challenges in collaboration with business partners.
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Explore a range of guidelines, playbooks and tools for collaborative sustainable venturing.

powered by ScaleUp4Sustainability
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law
Adj. Prof. Innovation Management and Sustainability
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany

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The platform was created as part of the ScaleUp4Sustainability project. ScaleUp4Sustainability (Project Reference: 601150-EPP-1-2018-1-DE-EPPKA2-KA) is funded by the Erasmus+/Knowledge Alliance Programme of the European Union.